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Keep Maryland Beautiful Grant Program

Environmental Education, Community Initiatives and Cleanup Grants

Environmental Education, Community Initiatives and Cleanup Grants are available to nonprofits, schools and municipalities who initiate environmental educations projects, community engagement and neighborhood greening activities. The suite of grants includes:

  • Citizen Stewardship Grant of up to $5,000. These grants are awarded to schools, nonprofits and other community organizations whose missions are centered upon directly engaging community members (especially children and young adults) in environmental education and stewardship. These grants also support organizations that demonstrate active engagement as defenders of the environment by developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems.

  • Clean Up & Green Up Maryland Grant of up to $5,000. These grants are awarded to help community groups and nonprofit organizations statewide with neighborhood beautification activities that include litter removal, greening activities, community education, and citizen stewardship statewide.

Required Application Materials

The application templates for the Citizen Stewardship Grants and Clean Up & Green Up Maryland are provided below. We encourage applicants to print the template and complete it prior to beginning the online application process, as the online application must be completed in one session. Applications for Keep Maryland Beautiful grants will only be accepted through the online system.

The following materials are required:

  • Application (see application template below)
  • W9
  • Budget (see budget template below)
  • Grant Agreement
  • Photographs

Required Templates and Forms



To start your online application click here.
Completed applications must be submitted by November 14, 2019


Guidance to Applicants

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Citizen Stewardship Grant

Open spaces, engaged citizens, and healthy environments in our communities increase the quality of life for all. Recognizing this, Maryland Environmental Trust, the Forever Maryland Foundation and the Maryland Department of Transportation annually award Keep Maryland Beautiful Stewardship Grants to schools, nonprofits, and other community organizations that are working to eliminate local environmental problems, encourage stewardship of the environment, and educate community members. The Keep Maryland Beautiful Citizen Stewardship grants honor the legacy of Bill James, who drafted the legislation that founded Maryland Environmental Trust, and Margaret Rosch Jones, former executive director of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.

Citizen Stewardship Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to schools, nonprofits and other community organizations whose missions are centered upon directly engaging community members (especially children and young adults) in environmental education and stewardship. These grants also support organizations that are demonstrating active engagement as defenders of the environment by developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems. Proposed projects should activate citizens and encourage stewardship through education and outreach while elevating awareness of local environmental problems and working to reduce them.

The objectives of the grants are:

  • To inspire and empower young people to become caretakers of their local environment and community through hands-on, project-based learning
  • To support and encourage the ongoing work of organizations that have been active in educating fellow community members about environmental issues such as litter prevention, local stewardship and beautification, or other local and statewide environmental issues
  • To help community organizations identify and eliminate the root causes of local environmental issues, rather than just their consequences
  • To encourage thoughtful consideration of local land use and development that preserves natural capital
  • To preserve natural areas and create a sense of place in communities

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Portrait of Bill JamesBill James

The legacy of William S. James is one of the drivers of the inauguration of the Citizen Stewardship Grants. He drafted legislation to create the Maryland Environmental Trust, incorporating the activities of the Governor's Committee to Keep Maryland Beautiful.

Born in Aberdeen, MD, in 1914, James studied law at the University of Maryland and practiced in Bel Air for 38 years. As President of the Maryland Senate, Bill James was the principal architect of many of Maryland's most important environmental laws, including the tidal wetlands law, Program Open Space, and agricultural land preservation.

James was a man of vision who will not be forgotten for his contributions to the betterment of Maryland's environment.

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Portrait of Margaret Rosch JonesMargaret Rosch Jones

The legacy of Margaret Rosch Jones was one of the influences in the establishment of Citizen Stewardship Grant. She was the executive director and moving spirit of the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program for many years.

The Trust hopes to remind citizens of her devotion, energy, and ingenuity by presenting an award in her name to a group whose voluntary activities personified these attributes that Margaret Jones brought to her work.

Born in 1906, Margaret Jones was dedicated to the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay. One of her “pet projects” was a statewide contest with prizes for winners of gasoline station inspections. Margaret Jones had a genius IQ, wrote poetry in her spare time and was a self-taught Latin scholar.

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Clean Up & Green Up Maryland Grant

The Clean Up & Green Up Maryland Grant was established to help community groups and nonprofit organizations statewide with neighborhood beautification activities that include litter removal, greening activities, community education, and citizen stewardship statewide.

Clean Up & Green Up Maryland Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to local groups and nonprofit organizations to develop community-based leadership and volunteer-based activities to eliminate litter and implement beautification and greening initiatives.

The objectives of the grants are:

  1. To support the projects of community groups and nonprofit organizations that are actively engaged in improving the overall appearance of commercial districts and residential areas where people are living, working and visiting.
  2. To support beautification projects that have litter removal and prevention strategies as a primary focus of improving the community and/or neighborhood.
  3. To support community cleaning and greening activities that include but are not limited to creating and maintaining green space in downtown districts, establishing clean up teams and regular clean up events and beautification projects that improve the appearance of underutilized or vacant buildings.

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